October 19, 2018
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       Florida Senate - 2010                              (NP)    SB 58
       
       
       
       By Senator Siplin
       
       
       
       
       19-00216-10                                             201058__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Brian Pitts; directing the
    3         Division of Administrative Hearings to appoint an
    4         administrative law judge to determine whether a basis
    5         for equitable relief exists for the purpose of
    6         compensating Brian Pitts for any wrongful act or
    7         omission by the State of Florida or officials thereof;
    8         requiring a report to the Legislature; authorizing
    9         such compensation upon a determination by the
   10         administrative law judge; providing an appropriation
   11         to compensate Brian Pitts for injuries and damages
   12         sustained; providing a limitation on the payment of
   13         fees and costs; authorizing Brian Pitts to practice
   14         law under certain circumstances; providing an
   15         effective date.
   16  
   17         WHEREAS, this state has clearly recognized the practice of
   18  law by lay persons since at least 1980, the Legislature and
   19  judiciary having concurrent jurisdiction to regulate such, and
   20         WHEREAS, Brian Pitts has exercised this privilege since
   21  2001 in Pinellas County, and his practice was later confirmed by
   22  the Florida Supreme Court in case number SC 02-247, in a final
   23  order dated November 11, 2003, and
   24         WHEREAS, since the inception of Mr. Pitts’ practice, the
   25  Second District Court of Appeal, the Sixth Judicial Circuit of
   26  Florida serving Pasco and Pinellas Counties, the state attorney
   27  for the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida, and The Florida Bar
   28  have, without cause, deprived Mr. Pitts of the privilege of
   29  practicing law as prescribed by the Legislature and Florida
   30  Supreme Court, subjecting him to civil and criminal proceedings
   31  and penalties on an ongoing basis, and
   32         WHEREAS, the Florida Supreme Court has, by virtue of the
   33  broad, general, and ambiguous language of its 2003 final order
   34  in the case, subjected Mr. Pitts to entrapment, and has
   35  needlessly and unjustly delayed ruling upon a request by Mr.
   36  Pitts to clarify or amend the final order or to promulgate other
   37  rules following original proceedings brought by Mr. Pitts to
   38  correct the matter, and
   39         WHEREAS, Mr. Pitts’ good name and reputation have been
   40  damaged and he has been deprived of due process, the ability to
   41  conduct a lawful business, freedom of speech, property, liberty,
   42  and equal protection under the law, and has not benefited from
   43  constitutional protections against unlawful trusts and double
   44  jeopardy, and has further suffered mental anguish and emotional
   45  distress as the result of the intentional misconduct and gross
   46  negligence of the courts, the state attorney’s office, and The
   47  Florida Bar related to his practice of law as a nonlawyer in
   48  this state, and
   49         WHEREAS, Mr. Pitts has suffered, and continues to suffer,
   50  significant monetary damage in the form of time, expenses, fees,
   51  fines, costs, and restitution associated with the civil and
   52  criminal proceedings pertaining to his unauthorized or
   53  unlicensed practice of law, and
   54         WHEREAS, Brian Pitts has on many occasions appeared before
   55  the Legislature to instruct, advise, inform, and advocate for or
   56  against proposed legislation covering a large spectrum of topics
   57  and subject matter, and
   58         WHEREAS, the Legislature recognizes that no system of
   59  justice is impervious to human error, and
   60         WHEREAS, the Legislature acknowledges that the state’s
   61  system of justice sometimes yields imperfect results that may
   62  have tragic consequences, and
   63         WHEREAS, this claim is based on a moral and legal
   64  obligation of the Legislature to acknowledge its own acts and
   65  inherent authority to correct a wrong whereby normal or other
   66  state authority, remedy, or resolution has been intentionally
   67  delayed or denied on an arbitrary and capricious basis,
   68  resulting in a manifest injustice or disregard of the law, and
   69         WHEREAS, the Legislature intends that any compensation made
   70  pursuant to this act be the sole compensation to be provided by
   71  the state for any and all present and future claims arising out
   72  of the facts presented in this act, NOW, THEREFORE,
   73  
   74  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   75  
   76         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   77  found and declared to be true.
   78         Section 2. The Division of Administrative Hearings shall
   79  appoint an administrative law judge to conduct a hearing and
   80  determine whether a basis for equitable relief exists for the
   81  purpose of compensating Brian Pitts for any wrongful act or
   82  omission of the State of Florida which occurred in the
   83  investigations and civil and criminal proceedings pertaining to
   84  or alleging the unlicensed or unauthorized practice of law.
   85         Section 3. (1)If the administrative law judge determines
   86  by a preponderance of the evidence that the State of Florida
   87  committed a wrongful act or omission and that a basis for
   88  equitable relief exists, the administrative law judge may award
   89  Brian Pitts an amount of up to $350,000. The administrative law
   90  judge shall report his or her determination to the President of
   91  the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives no
   92  later than July 1, 2010. The Chief Financial Officer is directed
   93  to draw a warrant in satisfaction of the relief awarded by the
   94  administrative law judge or special master, as provided in this
   95  act, and to pay the warrant out of funds in the State Treasury.
   96         (2)This award is intended to provide the sole compensation
   97  for all present and future claims arising out of the factual
   98  situation described in this act which resulted in unlawful or
   99  unconstitutional acts committed against Brian Pitts in
  100  connection with allegations of the unlicensed or unauthorized
  101  practice of law. The total amount paid for attorney’s fees,
  102  lobbying fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to
  103  this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under
  104  this act.
  105         Section 4. In accordance with the Florida Supreme Court
  106  final order in case number SC 02-247, authorizing Brian Pitts to
  107  practice law in this state, the Legislature authorizes Brian
  108  Pitts to practice law in this state under the following
  109  designations, titles, rules, decisions, or acts in the capacity
  110  as a lay counselor or lay representative:
  111         (1)Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, concerning a qualified
  112  representative.
  113         (2)Chapter 44, Florida Statutes, concerning a designated
  114  representative.
  115         (3)Section 709.08, Florida Statutes, concerning an
  116  attorney in fact.
  117         (4)Decisions or rules of the Florida Supreme Court
  118  concerning representation by a realty property manager.
  119         (5)Decisions or rules of the Florida Supreme Court
  120  concerning a nonlawyer using approved forms.
  121         (6)Decisions or rules of the Florida Supreme Court
  122  concerning representation in county or small claims civil
  123  proceedings.
  124         (7)Rule 5-15, Rules Relating to Admission to the Florida
  125  Bar.
  126         (8)Judicial discretion under the inherent authority
  127  doctrine.
  128         (9)Federal law, or any other clearly expressed rule,
  129  statute, or court or administrative decision or order under
  130  other federal or state law and authority.
  131         Section 5. Any appearance or public testimony given by
  132  Brian Pitts on bills or matters before the Legislature, wherever
  133  held or convened throughout this state, does not constitute the
  134  practice of law. In all circumstances, Brian Pitts retains the
  135  right where having valid standing supported by law or, if he is
  136  the subject of civil or criminal proceeding, to represent
  137  himself without a lawyer.
  138         Section 6. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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